Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Secured by Design accredits Commonwealth Games Athletes' Village for 2014

Brian Sims follows the progress made to date in relation to security arrangements for the upcoming Commonwealth Games, which run from 23 July-3 August 2014 in Glasgow.

The 2014 Commonwealth Games represents the largest single security operation Scotland – and, in particular, the fine city of Glasgow – has faced in recent history.

The Games’ ideology is closely linked to the key themes supported by the Scottish Government, one of which is ‘safer and stronger communities’.

The 2014 Games are the twentieth event to be staged in the series and aim to reflect the renowned and respected friendliness and openness of the Scottish people, while at the same time providing a safe, secure and successful event.

There’s an overriding feeling that these apparently conflicting objectives can be met successfully if there’s an early consideration of the security requirements. Experience demonstrates that retrospect measures will inevitably undermine those principles.

If there’s to be an overall success for the 2014 Games, it’s vital that security measures are embedded throughout the entire process: from design, through the build stage and on to delivery of the event itself followed by the legacy.

Early awareness and consideration of security issues and requirements will also contribute to the longer term success and sustainability of the new communities created.

The Scottish Police Service, the National Counter-Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) and the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) can support architects, engineers, planners and developers in the creation of safe and secure environments.

Where does Secured by Design fit in?

Having proven the benefits of Secured by Design through academic research conducted by Glasgow Caledonian University’s Centre for the Built and Natural Environment, the partnership of Strathclyde Police, ACPO Crime Prevention Initiatives (CPI) and GHA now have independent evidence of the benefits of Secured by Design.

The challenge thereafter lies in gaining access to key strategic forums to allow a police influence over the design and security requirements of the 2014 Commonwealth Games Village, and by doing so bring Secured by Design onto the international stage in developing the first SBD-accredited Commonwealth Games Village.

Incidents of international terrorism occurring nationally conspired to push security in the built environment up the agenda. While Counter-Terrorism Security Advisors would rightly retain responsibility for aspects of the Critical National Infrastructure, a significant proportion of architectural liaison officer (ALO) projects fall within the ‘soft targets and crowded places’ classification. Delivery of the Protect strand of the Government’s CONTEST strategy in such areas is by ALOs.

Throughout a rolling programme of continuous improvement, key project milestones were established to help visualise what success would look like when delivered and help drive the project forward.

The methodology employed over the course of the project has been to build the knowledge base and professional capacity among practising ALOs in order to drive up standards of service delivery. In turn, this will be supported by promotion of the service in a strategic context.

As quality was driven up by the new processes, confidence in the service grew and was accompanied by an increase in demand. Representation for Strathclyde Police was secured on a number of key strategic groups, including the Clyde Waterfront Strategic Partnership and the Glasgow Urban Design Panel.

Strathclyde Police also engaged with the redrafting of Glasgow’s local development plan, aka The City Plan. This led to a number of significant inclusions in support of the service, including the first explicit references to Secured by Design in a local development plan for Glasgow.

Strathclyde Police and the project team

The established partnership became particularly beneficial when Strathclyde Police was invited to become a member of Glasgow City Council’s project team to assess the bids for developing the Games’ Village and then devise the security requirements for the procurement process.

As part of the City Council’s procurement process, Strathclyde Police assessed proposals from each consortium bidding to gain preferred contractor status. The proposals included plans in relation to both security in overlay mode (ie ‘Games time’) and Secured by Design in legacy mode.

The project team provided constructive feedback to all bidders in relation to the requirements of Secured by Design, as well as advice to Glasgow City Council and the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee on the likelihood of each proposal achieving Secured by Design accreditation.

Throughout this period, Strathclyde Police had the full support of the CPNI in providing briefings and accredited training to key partners such as architects, planning officers and civil engineers. The level of joint training undertaken significantly contributed to the ease of communication and level of support from partner agencies.

It also led to some of the key successes already achieved in relation to incorporating protective security measures during the design phase.

Delivering a lasting Games legacy

The 2014 Commonwealth Games represents the biggest sporting event Scotland can attract, and is second only to the Olympic Games in terms of global significance.

Build programmes for the 2014 Commonwealth Games are already well underway and will comprise 13 major sporting venues (70% of them are already in place).

The ‘centrepiece’ of the Games will undoubtedly be the Athlete’s Village, a new development designed to accommodate 7,500 competitors and 1,500 officials.

The Games Village is going to be located in the Dalmarnock area of Glasgow and comprises a 38.5 hectare site. The existing area is, in essence, a brown field site with a light industrial history.

The masterplan for the Athletes’ Village draws heavily on that developed for Melbourne prior to the 2006 Commonwealth Games, which was deemed by participants to be the ‘best Games venue ever’.

It will comprise three main zones, namely the athletes’ Residential Zone, the International Zone and the Service Zone (including the transport hub). For the purposes of the Games, the Athletes’ Village will provide approximately 1,000 residential units.

In delivering the legacy there will be in excess of 1,200 homes for both the public and private sectors, all of which will achieve Secured by Design accreditation. For the Games, all residential space provision within these units will include bedrooms, toilets and shower facilities. Catering will be provided through temporary structures.

The International Zone will provide a ceremonial area, shopping complex, media facilities, entertainment complex, conference and meeting areas and a VIP reception area. It will also serve as the Security Management Centre for the entire site area.

The Service Zone will accommodate a 2,000-seat restaurant, a religious centre, gymnasium and training facilities, the Games Management Centre and facilities for the emergency services.

Build standards and post-Games legacy

The ALO unit met with Sports Scotland in respect of the build programmes for the other sporting venues associated with the Games.

This level of engagement provides the opportunity for delivery of the architectural liaison service for all venues, and to consider the preventative and protective security requirements needed for each site.

Every opportunity was taken to align build standards with CPTED and Secured by Design principles.

Part of the main legacy from the Games will be the new residential area in Dalmarnock and the associated transport, commercial and leisure infrastructure.

Following the Games, the greater part of the International and Service Zones will be dismantled and an additional 500 residential units duly built. All existing residential units will be retrofitted for normal family living.

In addition to the obvious physical legacy of the Games, it’s vital to consider this element within a wider physical, socio and economic legacy. It’s therefore important that as much as possible of the investment made in the Games is retained.

There’s little doubt that the 2014 Commonwealth Games can serve as a springboard for the future development and well-being of Glasgow’s East End, whereby it can become an exemplar in terms of a community that reflects the Government’s aspiration of a wealthier, healthier, safer and stronger, smarter and greener Scotland.

Not only that, it also has the potential to become a flagship Secured by Design development.

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